Saturday, April 30, 2016

Stacking the Shelves (#175)

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, in which bloggers share the books and swag they've received in the past week!

So, what did I get in the week of Sunday, April 24th to Saturday, April 30th?

(all links to Goodreads are provided!)

In the mail:

From April 18th to April 23rd:

Firstlife by Gena Showalter poster, bookmark, tattoos, button

Thank you so much, Harlequin TEEN!

I've actually never heard of this one! Thank you, Tor/Forge. =)

Thank you, Disney and Hannah!

Thank you, Harper! I liked My Lady Jane, and I'm curious about Winning.

Thank you, Tor Teen!

From this week (April 24th to April 30th):

I loved this book! Check out my review HERE.

AHHHH! Thank you so much, Ksenia/Tor! *heart eyes*

I'll give this one to my little cousin to read! Thank you, S&S. :)

Thank you, Alyssa! I won this from her. And my preorder of The Rose & The Dagger will be here in a few days, which is exciting!

There it is! Thank you, NAL. =)

EEEEP! Thank you! I am so excited!

Mail is all updated! Two weeks' worth. It'll be another two weeks again before I post mail - I have two weeks of finals to look forward to! D:

Friday, April 29, 2016

Review: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Publisher: Doubleday
Publication Date: September 13, 2011
Rating: 4 stars
Source: Gift from a friend

Summary (from Goodreads):

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. 

Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air. 

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves. 

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way--a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a "game" to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. 

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lvies of all those involved--the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them--are swept up in a wake of spells and charms. 

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. 

Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance. 

Both playful and seductive, The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern's spell-casting debut, is a mesmerizing love story for the ages.

What I Liked:

I knew I would love this book. Nearly five years ago, I got it for Christmas from a friend, who knew I really wanted to read the book (it had published just months before). When I got the book though, it was one of those experiences when you FINALLY get a book that you've been anticipating for ages, and suddenly, you just can't do it. I've tried to read this book for nearly five years, but I just could not do it. I'm counting it as my April 2016 Pili-Pushed novel, as Pili provided the push I needed to experience this brilliance! And what a brilliant book it was.

This review is probably going to be extremely vague and short, because honestly, I don't know how to explain myself when it comes to this book! It needs no explanation - it just needs to be read.

The night circus appears without warning, all of a sudden. It is only open at night, and instead of one massive tent, there are many tents. But there is something far more mysterious and magical at work. Illusionists Marco and Celia are bound to compete in a game about which they were not told much, in which they continually create illusions that enhance the circus. They are the creators, but they are watched by their masters. But the masters do not expect the pair to meet each other, and fall in love in a dizzying, seductive way. But only one can win - and at what cost?

I couldn't even begin to start describing what I liked about this book. The world-building, the setting, the magic, the illusions. The primary characters, the secondary characters, the character development. I am slightly disappointed in myself for waiting so long to read the book!

Celia and Marco are technically our two protagonists, but there are a few others that get their own chapters and play important roles as well. Celia was trained in the illusionist ways in a brutal and punishing way, by her father. Marco was trained in an isolationist, studious way, surrounded by books and knowledge. Two different sets of training, two very skilled illusionists. Neither were supposed to meet, but both are very clever and figure it out (one much faster than the other!).

Marco is the swooniest! In a subtle way though - his charm and his swooniness isn't over the top or full of swagger or arrogance. Marco is quiet and reserved and sweet. Celia is also charming, and very clever. Both of these two are very intelligent, and so romantic in a subtle way. Everything about their romance and relationship is so subtle, not built in words but in actions.

I liked this type of swoony romance, though I must say, I was expecting the romance to be a little more steamy? Something about the synopsis saying that the romance is "seductive" had me thinking that Marco and Celia would have intense, ah, physical times. But everything about their chemistry and their romance is subtle, and built in gestures and creations. I do like the romance, but you'll see below that my ONE complaint is that I expected a steamier romance! 

This book is written in third person, mostly written in either Celia's or Marco's perspective. However, there are chapters written in another character's perspective. The way this story is built, we experience it from when Celia and Marco were very young, and then as the years go by, and then a chapter will be set in the future, and then the story will go back to present day... you'd think this would be confusing but it was not! Every chapter has a date before it starts, so you never lose track of what, where, and who. 

I loved this story. It's such a beautiful story, and I could totally see it becoming a classically known tale. I love that it's a standalone. I love that the ending is satisfying - I was expecting a sad ending, to be honest. This book was delightful!

What I Did Not Like:

Like I mentioned above, I thought the romance would be more physical! Marco and Celia kiss a few times, and there is one subtly, short steamy scene, but given the synopsis (again, "seductive"), I expected lots of touching (even just simple hand brushes or hugs or something). The seduction is like, through the game. Marco creates this, Celia in turn creates this, and they're continually building the circus by creating things for each other. It's so sweet! But not the kind of romance I was expecting. Still a VERY beautiful romance! I enjoyed it.

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, to anyone. It's an adult fiction novel (you can always tell by looking at the price - it's $26.95!), but readers of pretty much any age (errr, maybe 13 and up) will enjoy this book. It's fantasy and there is a sweeping romance and there are characters that are so lovable and sweet and basically this book was lovely! And the ending was so good.


4 stars. I think I might have given it five stars if the romance had been a little more to what I was expecting - but then again, maybe I've been reading one too many adult romance novels recently. I am so glad that I got this book for Christmas! Four and a half years later I finally read it... better late than never.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Swoon Thursday (#170): The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele

Swoon Thursday is a hot meme hosted by the fabulous ladies at YA Bound!

- From the book you’re currently reading, or one you just finished, tell us what made you SWOON. What got your heart pounding, your skin tingling, and your stomach fluttering

- Try to make the swoon excerpt 140 characters (or less), if you are going to tweet about it. Use the hashtag #YABOUND when tweeting

This week, my swoon is from The Marked Girl by Lindsey Klingele!

Cedric's eyes focused on hers again, and then he was moving closer, closer his hand resting on her neck now. She could see his eyelids dropping, and his lips as his mouth drew nearer and nearer to hers.

Then he was kissing her, first slowly, and then completely, with one hand still on the back of her neck and the other reaching to her waist.

Liv's whole body felt fuzzy, soft around the edges. And then Cedric's hands were running gently along her beck, the rough skin of his fingers drawing little invisible lines that made the small hairs there rise up, up, up.

She leaned into him, deepening the kiss and letting out a small sigh when it went from gentle into something more. Cedric gripped her harder. She ran her hand down the length of his chest, her fingers playing at the edge of his shirt. She carefully lifted it, hand shaking just a little, and let her hands run over the flat edge of his stomach there.

- eARC, 69%

Author Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Read my review of The Marked Girl!

There were things that I didn't like about this book, but this scene was one my favorites of the book. I cut it off just when things were getting good! ;)

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Blog Tour: The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Hi everyone! Welcome to the blog tour for The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi, hosted by St. Martin's Press. I am very excited to have Roshani here to answer a few short questions. Read on, readers!

The Interview:

Alyssa: Which character is most like someone in real life (you, a parent, sibling, etc.)?

Roshani: Kamala is most like me. Except for whole charred bones as a snack of choice thing.

Alyssa: Did you always know that The Star-Touched Queen would a standalone (with no direct sequel)?

Roshani: Yes. I really wanted to write something that would just take you through all the feels all at once. No painful waiting period involved.

Alyssa: What is something you always have, when writing?

Roshani: Coffee grinds. I…eat them. But not the gross soggy ones that were used to make coffee and not the formerly gross soggy ones that have inevitably dried out. I don’t know why I do this…maybe it’s a texture thing…but I’ve done this since I was 11.

Alyssa: Thank you, Roshani!

About the Book:

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Publication Date: April 26, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

Cursed with a horoscope that promises a marriage of Death and Destruction, sixteen-year-old Maya has only earned the scorn and fear of her father's kingdom. Content to follow more scholarly pursuits, her world is upheaved when her father, the Raja, arranges a wedding of political convenience to quell outside rebellions. But when her wedding takes a fatal turn, Maya becomes the queen of Akaran and wife of Amar. Yet neither roles are what she expected. As Akaran's queen, she finds her voice and power. As Amar's wife, she finds friendship and warmth.

But Akaran has its own secrets - thousands of locked doors, gardens of glass, and a tree that bears memories instead of fruit. Beneath Akaran's magic, Maya begins to suspect her life is in danger. When she ignores Amar's plea for patience, her discoveries put more than new love at risk - it threatens the balance of all realms, human and Otherworldly.

Now, Maya must confront a secret that spans reincarnated lives and fight her way through the dangerous underbelly of the Otherworld if she wants to protect the people she loves.

Inspired by Indian mythology. 

About the Author:

Photo credit: Aman Sharma

Roshani Chokshi comes from a small town in Georgia where she collected a Southern accent, but does not use it unless under duress. She grew up in a blue house with a perpetually napping bear-dog. At Emory University, she dabbled with journalism, attended some classes in pajamas, forgot to buy winter boots and majored in 14th century British literature. She spent a year after graduation working and traveling and writing. After that, she started law school at the University of Georgia where she's learning a new kind of storytelling. The Star-Touched Queen is her first novel.

The Excerpt:

•» 2 «•


The archives were cut like honeycombs and golden light clung to them, dousing every tome, painting, treatise and poem the soft gold of ghee freshly skimmed from boiling butter. I was only allowed to visit once a week—to meet with my weekly tutor before I inevitably scared him away. Every time I left the archival room, my arms brimmed with parchment paper. I loved the feeling of discovery, of not knowing how much I wanted something until I had discovered its absence.

The week before, I had lost myself in the folktales of Bharata. Stories of elephants who spun clouds, shaking tremors loose from ancient trunks gnarled with the rime of lost cyclones, whirlwinds and thunderstorms. Myths of frank-eyed naga women twisting serpentine, flashing smiles full of uncut gemstones. Legends of a world beneath, above, beside the one I knew—where trees bore edible gems and no one would think twice about a girl with dark skin and a darker horoscope. I wanted it to be real so badly that sometimes I thought I could see the Otherworld. Sometimes, if I closed my eyes and pressed my toes into the ground, I could almost sense them sinking into the loam of some other land, a dream demesne where the sky cleaved in two and the earth was sutured with a magic that could heal hearts, mend bones, change lives.

It was a dream I didn’t want to part with, but I had to settle for what magic I could create on my own. I could read more. Learn more. Make new dreams. But the best part wasn’t hoarding those wishes to myself. It was sharing everything I learned with Gauri, my half-sister. She was the only one I couldn’t scare away . . . the only one I didn’t want to.

Thinking of Gauri always made me smile. But as soon as I caught sight of my tutor of the week, the smile disappeared. He stood between two pillars of the archive section marking the kingdom’s history. Beyond the sheer number of things to read in the archive room, what I loved most was its ceiling. It was empty, wide enough to crawl through and conveniently linked to my father’s inner sanctum.

The tutor, as luck would have it, stood directly below my hiding spot.

At least Father’s announcement hadn’t started. The courtiers still murmured and the footfall of tardiness fell on my ears like music. But if I was ever going to get to hear that meeting, I had to get rid of the tutor first.

“Punctuality is a prize among women,” said the tutor.
I bit back a cringe. His voice was sticky. The words drawn out like they would morph into a noose and slip around you in the dark. I stepped back, only to see his eyes sharpen into a glare.

He was heavyset and tall. Soft-rounded jowls faded into a non-chin and thick neck. Greasy black eyes dragged across my body. In the past, my tutors had all been the same—a little doughy, a little nervous. Always superstitious. This new tutor held my gaze evenly. That was unexpected. None of my other tutors had ever met my eye. Sometimes the tutors sidled against the dark of the archival chambers, hands trembling as they pushed a set of notes toward me. History lessons, they said. Why did they always start with history? Show me a dream unrealized. Don’t show me unchangeable paths.

The tutor cleared his throat. “I have no intention to teach you history or letters or speech. I intend to teach you silence. Stillness.”

This time I didn’t even try to hide my scowl. I did not like this replacement. Tutors generally left me alone. I never had to raise my voice. I never had to scowl. I didn’t even need words. What scared them most was much simpler and sweeter than that—a smile. The moment I smiled—not a real one, of course, but a slow, crocodile reveal of teeth and a practiced manic gleam—the tutor would make an excuse, edge along the wall and flee out of the ar-
chive rooms.

Who wanted to be smiled at by the girl that trailed shadows like pets, conjured snakes and waited for Death, her bridegroom, to steal her from these walls? Never mind that none of it was true. Never mind that the closest I had come to real magic was making off with an entire tray of desserts without anyone noticing. The shadow of me always loomed larger than the person who cast it. And sometimes that had its benefits.

This tutor, however, was not as easily cowed. I strained my ears, listening for the footfall of more courtiers, but it was silent. The meeting would start any minute now and here I was, stuck with some fool who wanted to teach me the virtue of silence.

I grinned at him . . .

. . . and he grinned back.

“It is unseemly to smile at strangers, Princess.”

He took a step closer to me. Shadows glommed around him, choking off the honey light of the room. He smelled wrong. Like he had borrowed the scent of another person. Sweat slicked his skin and when he walked closer, red shimmered in his eyes—like coal smoldering in each socket.

“Let me teach you, lovely thing,” he said, taking another step closer. “Humans always get it wrong, don’t they? They think a bowl of rice at the front door is strong enough to keep a demon away. Wrong. What you know is a false promise of strength. Let me show you weakness.”

The room had never felt this empty, like I was trapped between the space of an echo and a scream. I couldn’t hear anything. Not the parrots scuttling on their branches or the court notary droning his list of the afternoon’s agenda. Silence was a silhouette, some- thing I could trace.

The tutor’s voice transcended sound, muddying my thoughts. “Let me teach you the ways of demons and men.”

My knees buckled. His voice echoed with all the desperation of someone who had not slaked his thirst in eons and had just spied a goblet of water sweating beads of condensation, thick as planets. His voice lulled me, coated me. I wanted to move, but found myself rooted to the spot. I glanced up, fighting the drowsiness, and saw his shadow smeared on the wall—horned, furred belly skating over the floor, shifting into man and beast and back. Devil. Raksha.

Somewhere in my mind, I knew he wasn’t real. He couldn’t be. This was the court of Bharata, a city like a bone spur—tacked on like an afterthought. Its demons were different: harem wives with jewels in their hair and hate in their heart, courtiers with mouths full of lies, a father who knew me only as a colored stone around his neck. Those were the monsters I knew. My world didn’t have room for more.

The drowsiness slipped off me. When I shook myself free of it, my smile was bitter smoke, my hackles raised until I thought my skin had given way to glass. Now, he seemed smaller. Or maybe I had grown bigger. My surroundings slid away, and all that was left was fire licking at the earth, the edge of a winter eclipse, stars whirling in a forest pool and the pulsing beat of something ancient running through my veins.

“I don’t care for the ways of men and demons,” I hissed. “Your lessons are lost on me.”

Whatever darkness my mind had imagined melted. Parrots singing. Fountains gurgling. The distant voice of a courtier droning about wars. Sound pushed up between those lost seconds, blossoming into fierce murmurs, hushed tones. What had I imagined? I searched for the tutor’s shadow splayed against the wall. I waited to see something slinking along the ground, darkness stretched long and thin over tomes and cracked tiles, but there was nothing.

You,” he hissed in an exhale that ended in a whimper. He backed into a corner. “It’s you. I thought . . .” He gulped down the rest of his words. He looked lost.

I blinked at him, shaking off the final remnants of that drowsiness. I felt groggy, but not with sleep. A moment ago, I thought I had seen horns limned in shadow. I thought something had coursed through me in defense—a low note of music, the bass of a thunderclap, a pleat of light glinting through a bruised storm cloud. But that couldn’t be right. The person before me was just . . . a person. And if I had heard him say something else, saw him morph into something else, it was all distant and the fingers of my memory could do nothing but rummage through images, hold them to the light and wonder if I hadn’t slipped into a waking nightmare.

The tutor trembled. Gone was the blocky figure choking out the light and lecturing me on silence. Or had he said something else in those lost moments? Something about weakness and demons. I couldn’t remember. I clutched a table, my knuckles white. 

“I must go,” he said, his face pale, like blood had drained from him. “I didn’t know. Truly. I didn’t. I thought you were someone else.”

I stared at him. What did he mean? How could he not know who I was? Someone must have told him that I was the princess he would be tutoring this afternoon. But I was wasting time. He was just another tutor scared by a reputation pronounced by far- away lights in the sky. Curse the stars.

Review: Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson

Leveling the Field by Megan Erickson
Book Four of the Gamers series
Publisher: Entangled Brazen
Publication Date: May 2, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from NetGalley

***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***

Summary (from Goodreads):

Reclusive magazine exec Ethan Talley is furious when his business partner hires a photographer—a gorgeous photographer who insists on speaking her mind, damn it—to take pictures for an upcoming article. No matter how badly he wants the woman…under him, over him, against the nearest wall…he has reasons for not wanting to be on camera anymore, and his scars are only one of them.

It takes approximately two seconds for Lissa Kingsman to recognize Ethan as the popular YouTube gamer who fell off the planet years ago. But this Ethan is different than the charming man she used to watch, and the crush she had on him then is nothing compared to the way she’s lusting after the brooding man he is today. If sex is all he can give her, fine. Why not use that bearskin rug in her studio for something other than a prop? But she’s determined to put a chink in his armor, no matter how much he resists.

What I Liked:

This is only my second read of the Gamers series, but I am no stranger to Megan Erickson (literally and metaphorically!). I think my favorite book by her was book two of this series, Playing For Her Heart! But I think this book would probably come in a close second. I loved Lissa and Ethan!

Ethan is a magazine executive (he works with Grant) who has physical and emotional scars that he does not want to talk about. Former YouTube sensation E-Rad is not going to be on camera anytime soon. Ethan seems cold, but really, he's a little broken. Photographer Lissa Kingsman wants Ethan to join her project celebrating people with scars, physical and emotional. But Ethan refuses to be photographed - by her, or anyone else. Gone are his days on camera. But why? The tension builds between Ethan and Lissa, and maybe he won't help her with her project, but the pair do not let the intense chemistry between them go unnoticed. 

Oh Ethan! We're introduced to him in previous books (remember, I've only read book two and now this one), and he appears to be a little cold. It's still true in this book, at least on the surface. Ethan is closed off to everyone, including his sister Chloe. He's rich, successful, handsome, and totally lonely. But a death in his past explains everything. Ethan is every inch an alpha male, but not necessarily an in-your-face charmingly arrogant one. He's complicated and a little broken and everyone is worried about him.

Lissa, on the other hand, is positive and yet so real. She has a dirty mouth and she isn't afraid to speak her mind or get loud. Lissa is intelligent and kind, but also very direct, and a very strong woman. I liked Lissa a lot! She's definitely a good fit for Ethan.

I definitely consider this more of "Ethan's book" than "Ethan and Lissa's" because Ethan's emotional journey is so much more important than Lissa's (in my opinion). But I like that both characters have had difficult pasts that are similar, and both characters have to work through guilty and denial. 

These two are FIRE! Such great chemistry, and the build-up is fairly short but thorough. In classic Erickson fashion, there were soooo many steamy scenes and each one was different. You can always expect a high heat level from Erickson!

Final thing I'd like to mention - you can probably tell from the cover, but we have an interracial couple! Hats off to diversity. 

All in all, this book was fantastic, and I really enjoyed it. I know I need to read the other two books in the series that I skipped, but I am really content with books two and four that I have read!

What I Did Not Like:

Hmmm, I want more, possibly. This book was short! I mean, Erickson wrote the story beautifully and I didn't think anything was rushed or under-written. But I always want more when it comes to her steamy romances!

Would I Recommend It:

I highly recommend this book, if you like adult romance novels, Brazen books, and/or Megan Erickson's books! It's not one of Erickson's to skip. I am so happy to see Ethan get a HEA!


4 stars. Such a good series! I really liked Grant but I think Ethan might be my favorite of the two male protagonists. Lissa is definitely my favorite (between her and Chloe)! I can't wait to read more books from Erickson in the future.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

Waiting on Wednesday (#174): Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week, I'm featuring:

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Book Two of The Illuminae Files series
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 18, 2016

Summary (from Goodreads):

The highly anticipated sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller that critics are calling “out-of-this-world awesome.” 

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.

Once again told through a compelling dossier of emails, IMs, classified files, transcripts, and schematics, Gemina raises the stakes of the Illuminae Files, hurling readers into an enthralling new story that will leave them breathless.

I loved Illuminae! This book is going to be awesome, I'm quite sure. :)

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Sweet Talk with the Sweet Sixteens: April 26th

Welcome to Week Seventeen of Sweet Talk with the Sweet Sixteens! To see more details about Sweet Talk as well as previous posts, see the introduction post. Thanks to Charlene (Bookish Whimsy), for designing the banner and button for Sweet Talk.

Today, I'm featuring the authors and books publishing during the week of April 26th!

The Questions:

1. Describe your debut novel in sixteen words.
2. Pitch your book! For fans of _____, _____ meets _____, etc.
3. What are you working on now – is it related to your debut novel?

The Author:

Sarah Alexander, Author of The Art of Not Breathing

1. It’s a story about absences, grief, breathing, secrets, family, love and the immense power of water.

2. My publishers pitched it as ‘E. Lockhart’s WE WERE LIARS meets Judith Guest’s ORDINARY PEOPLE’ which is awesome. Fans of Jandy Nelson and Laurie Halse Anderson might like it too. Anyone who likes stories that are a little bit sad but hopeful too.

3. I’m working on another standalone YA Contemporary novel. It’s about fear – both being afraid and being fearless, and parts of it are set in India. I’m very excited about it!

Follow Sarah Alexander: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter
Find The Art of Not Breathing: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | The Book Depository

The Book:

(Click on the cover to go to Goodreads!)

Other Sweet Sixteens Books Publishing This Week:

The Art of Not Breathing is actually the only one!

The Giveaway:

- Signed hardcover of The Last Great Adventure of the PB&J Society
- ARC of Don't Get Caught
- Dig Too Deep swag
- Future Shock swag
- South of Sunshine swag
- My Kind of Crazy swag
- Fear My Mortality swag
- Finished copy of Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters
- Tell Me Three Things swag
- My Seventh-Grade Life in Tights swag
- Finished copy of Treasure at Lure Lake
- Crossing the Line swag 
- The Last Fifth Grade of Emerson Elementary swag
- Finished copy of Consider
- Emerge swag
- ARC of The Art of Not Breathing

Release Day Blitz and Giveaway: The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Welcome to the release day blitz for The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh! I am thrilled to be sharing this book with you all. If you loved The Wrath and the Dawn too, then you've been anxiously awaiting this sequel! Check out more, and enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

The Rose & The Dagger by Renee Ahdieh
Book Two of The Wrath and the Dawn series
Publisher:  G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: April 26, 2016

Official Summary:

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 

The Excerpt: 

Check out the series:



(Click on the covers to go to Goodreads!)

About the Author:

Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

The Giveaway:

1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only. Ends May 3rd at midnight EST.